OP-EDS

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April 3, 2005

UCPD can do better

While Hyde Park has become safer in the past years, the last few weeks have demonstrated that vigilance for potential crime is still crucial to campus life. Not only have there been armed robberies, but they have occurred in broad daylight, holding victims up at gunpoint in the entryways to their own apartments. In light of the experience of student victims, we feel that a critique of the UCPD is warranted.

While the UCPD is often successful in providing security around campus, notable incidents involving UCPD officers represent a serious problem in how the police force carries out its duty. An officer who forgets a notebook when on the scene of a crime, an officer who blatantly ignores a victim's description of his attacker, and perhaps multiple officers who lose track of a critical piece of evidence are not minor mishaps but serious mistakes that reflect sloppy police work. As a police force, the UCPD should be embarrassed by these mistakes, and take measures that will prevent this kind of error from recurring.

It is not clear who, exactly, is to be blamed for the apparent lack of alerts to those who live in areas that have recently been targeted by criminals. Both the UCPD and the University stand firmly behind their longtime policies, but the fact remains that students in some cases have not been sufficiently apprised of the danger. The MAROON encourages students not only to keep their eyes open to possible crime, but to actively look to their own safety in general. We do not live on an excessively dangerous campus, but a higher level of alertness will make everyone safer.